Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)

Rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) is the leading cause of lameness in the dog (and cats sometimes). In humans, the CCL is referred to as the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament. Because the CCL is the major stabilizer of the the knee, surgery is a key factor for all but the smallest dogs and cats.

The TPLO, or Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy, is considered the gold standard among board certified veterinary surgeons for dogs with CCL disease. This is especially true for large dogs, working (police, assistance) dogs, very athletic dogs or dogs with concern urgent orthopedic disease (like hip dysplasia, CCL tear of the opposite knee, other orthopedic diagnoses, or severe arthritis).

TPLO corrects the sliding motion between the femur and tibia common terminology such as cranial crawler, tibial thrust,tibial slope are all used when comparing the relationship of these two bones of the knee). The TPLO corrects this abnormal relationship left by the absence of. Normal CCL by making a radial or curved cut in the tibia and rotating the top part of the tibia a pre-calculated distance and securing the bones with a special plate and bone screws. This creates an environment where the CCL is no longer necessary for stable usage of the limb. Once the limb has fully healed, 95 to 98% of the TPLO patients regain full function of the leg.

The benefits of the TPLO include Shorter recovery times, better range of motion of the knee joint, less arthritis, increased return to work and play.

Additional notes about cranial cruciate ligament injuries:
1. Approximately 50% of patients who rupture their CCL on one side will rupture the CCL on their opposite knee.
2. Pets with partial CCL ruptures have a 95% chance of completing the tear within 1 year or less. The arthritis within the joint will continue to progress rapidly during this time. If there is enough of. Rupture to cause you dog to limp or pick up the leg, it is time for surgery.
3. The joint is explored thoroughly at the time of stabilization. If the meniscus is damaged, the damaged portion will be removed. Approximately 5% of patients will develop a meniscal injury after surgery that will require removal.